Monday, February 13, 2012

Return to Bronytown

So a while back I reported on Bronyville falling apart as breaking news. Twinkie got banned as a "ban evasion alt", although with the fact that it is -waaaaaaaaaay- too easy to just make another alt and come back on. I wouldn't be surprised if he came back and was around but kept his former life completely secret. I did a little bit of searching and found that not only was Bronyville back (as BronyTown), but that it is THRIVING, with about six sims. I do not know if the sims are all owned by the same person, but the fact that the place is about three times larger than it was as Bronyville shows how interested people are in the fandom of My Little Pony.

There's an underground cave with a bunch of small shops, several areas where one can go and watch the episodes, a sandbox for building, and many many freebie pony-related things, such as cutie marks and basic avatars. The two avatars most often used seem to be a freebie (which is well done) and one you pay for (about 450 $L, which is slightly smaller but more fluid moving than the freebie one).

I saw that there was a small little roleplaying area, decked out as Ponyville. Complete with places like Rarity's Boutique and Sugarcube Corner, it was enough to get me to set up a separate alt ("harmonylongbow resident", AKA Ampersand the Pony) and I took part in one or two RPs myself for a couple of days. After having a bit of fun as Ampersand, I decided it would be nice to track down some of the "official Mane 6" roleplayers for a bit of an interview for the Newser. I tracked down Annabelle Baar (AKA Rarity) and Okami Brokken (Applejack) in Rarity's Boutique.

Ampersand: Ok, let's start with the basics... the first question on my list is how long have you been RPing in Bronytown? What made you decide to take on the role of Rarity and Applejack?

Rarity: Hmm. Perhaps a month in BronyTown and a month as Rarity. I didn't really start RPing here until I had Rarity.

Applejack: Well I've been roleplaying MLP in SL for about 9 months now. The original roleplay started in Bronyville and was organized by myself. I was drawn towards Applejack, because I was born and raised in the country and could just relate to the character closely. She has a lot of wisdom to her that I don't think alot of people give her credit for and its very appealing to me.

Rarity: Rarity is my favorite of the Mane Six, I started looking on the sims to specifically play her. When I saw the canon list here and Rarity was the only Mane not taken, it seemed perfect.

Ampersand: Bah! Derpy and Applejack are best ponies. (chuckle) What do you think is the toughest thing for RPs these days? Have you run into a lot of "god moders" or other "difficulties"?

Rarity: The toughest thing is probably people who don't speak English very well. And I don't run into godmodders as much as I run into people who use one liners when posting. The problem with that is it doesn't give the other RPers much to go off of, and makes the whole session lacking.

Applejack: Well thats a difficult question to answer. Honestly recently it has been about getting people involved. Often times people come to the sim for roleplay, but want to be dragged into a RP in progress by standing in the background and hoping someone takes notice of them even if they say nothing in IC and the characters involved are heavily distracted by events taking place. We have run into our fair share of god modders and difficulties. We are often considered uptight for an RP group because we have a set of rules that tries to keep characters and events feasible in the Equestrian universe.

We want players to have the ability to create their own unique character, but not everyone can be an Alicorn. We have turned a lot of applications down due to character wanting to play crossover characters that don't mesh well with the Equestrian universe in our opinion ( Green lantern, Dragon ball Z, Sonic, Animes, ect. ) but also because everyone wishes to be special but goes about it in unusual, canon breaking ways. Such as many many alicorns, Celestia's personal assassin, etc. Things we can't rule as being -impossible- in a canon sense, but it just makes things difficult from an RP standpoint.

Ampersand: That's what we get for having such a famous fandom, as it were, but it could be worse, everyone could be Pinkie Pie. Are there mini-RPs if not enough people show up to a featured "event," or does the group have backup players of the Mane 6 if say, you can't make it?

Rarity: There are mini RPs all the time! If there are ponies on, there are RPs happening. The events are just RPs that incorperate everyone on, and sometimes use NPC ponies, like Princess Luna in the latest event.

Applejack: Well, we encourage more player created interaction then anything else. We do host the events in an effort to provide RP to those who are timid or would just like to RP larger scale things. Though due to our resources those large events can only happen maybe 2 times a week, so we really depend on players to make their own story. That is what role-playing is all about after all. We do have alternates of our main cast, but have almost never needed to use them. Our mane 6 is carefully selected on their RP ability, avatar appearance, and attendance. Many players come just wanting to interact with the canon characters, so it is very important to us to maintain these players be available AND accurate to the role.

Ampersand: Have the storylines gone in totally weird directions that no one was expecting (both event and regular RP)?

Rarity: Yes! The great thing about the event is that only certain points are planned, and the ponies participating will determine how it ends. There were five possible endings for the last event.

Applejack: Of course storylines have taken weird turns! Completely scripting events can be dramatic, but often is a less fun experience for everyone but the scripter. We prefer that the characters direct the roleplays based on what their character; and their own imaginations can come up with.We have a staff of coordinators to referee a lot of RPs so that god modding and completely RP breaking events do not take place.

Ampersand: Do you know if anyone is planning on Discord making an appearance?

Rarity: I do not know. As far as I know there is no new story planned right now. Though I'm technically not a Mod, despite me being a Mane character, so they don't need to tell me. Haha.

Applejack: Well I can't rule it out, but we did have a Discord RP back when the second season started. All of our mane 6 recolored their avies to be corrupted and everything. We may bring Discord back to Ponyville one day, but for now we our creating our own villains so that the players can write a whole new chapter to the MLP storyline here in SL.

Ampersand: If someone's got an idea for a storyline, who do they contact?

Rarity: Nessia Fizzle or Niles Cournoyer.

Ampersand: And finally, what do you expect for Bronytown's RP in the future? Besides hopefully more ponies :)

Rarity: More ponies would be wonderful. I'd also like to see ponies participating in the events, they're there so ponies can have fun! It's also a great way to meet the Mane cast, and spark future RPs with them that aren't events.

Applejack: Well we would like to expand the parcel to include at least an entire sim containing all of the shows key areas. The real benefit of role playing in SL over a forum or through standard text is the eye candy. Whole RP is based almost entirely off of a players imagination it is nice to be able to see the town of Ponyville and its surrounding areas AND being able to interact with them. Honestly I feel the actual RP here is pretty firm. We get a good amount of casual character interaction as well as the more intense and emotional events. Both allow characters to grow. Getting new ponies interested and keeping them here is the our primary goal right now.

Ampersand: The more the merrier. As long as they're not Pinkie Pie clones. One of her is *enough.* (grin)

Rarity: Agreed.

Xymbers Slade

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